Friday, July 24, 2009

Five Years

Happy fifth anniversary, Heidi! These five years have been quite an adventure. Enjoy this photo montage, spanning from our first date to our most recent. I love you!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sushi date!

I've been taking cooking classes a couple of times each month over the past year at a place called Hipcooks. I absolutely love how it's set up. They offer several different menus and you can sign up for whatever one looks interesting to you. It's very hands on, the teachers are wonderful, and the food is always really good! I've taken a Thai class, an Indian class, a soup class, a cocktail/appetizer class, and many more! I also TA for classes (help the teacher, wash lots of dishes, etc.) so that I can earn free classes. It's a great program!
Noel and I have discovered a great excitement for sushi over the past couple of years. Sushi is one of those things that I never thought I'd desire to make. It just seemed too hard and if I'm going to eat it, I'd rather go out for it. Boy was I wrong! I was offered a free spot in the sushi class this week and convinced Noel that it would be a really fun date for us. Plus, then he'd be able to see where I spend so many of my evenings! So, we purchased a spot for him and made sushi together this past week. We both had a great time and hope to have a sushi party sometime! After the initial investment into the tools (which are quite cheap), it's really inexpensive to make your own. How fun!
The teacher called this "Sushi lasagna". It was layers of nori, rice, nori, smoked salmon, nori, rice, etc. The nori was Korean style, which was a bit flakier and seasoned. After creating a few stacks, we cut them into little squares to eat. So easy and so fun! You could really stack anything in it!

Getting ready to make some sushi.

We rolled thin strips of English cucumber with spicy tuna and then garnished it with julienned carrots, roe, and radish sprouts.
Nice work, Noel!

Here are a couple of our creations. We were basically given tons of ingredients and told to put whatever we wanted into our rolls. I tried an inside out roll (left) , which was a bit tricky. My "fillings" kept popping out the end when I was rolling. I think I just chose things that were a bit too slippery (mango and eel). Noel made a regular roll (right) with tuna, avocado, and other yumminess.

What a fun night and a fun skill to learn together!

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Julie and Julia"

Noel and I had a chance to see a screening of the movie, "Julie and Julia" last night at the Arclight theater in Hollywood. We love the opportunities we get to see free movies out here; it's definitely a benefit to this area!

Anyway, this movie is FANTASTIC. We both really enjoyed it. I literally felt like I was watching myself on the screen with the "Julie" character (played by Amy Adams). Meryl Streep did an absolutely AMAZING job playing Julia Child. It was delightful, entertaining, funny, and even a little romantic at times. After the movie ended, Noel turned to me and said, "You are totally Julie". If only...However, it does make me even more excited to go back to school for nutrition/food service. The idea of being around something that I love so much and am so passionate about is so exciting! And to think that I'll even get paid to do it!

I think this movie would be enjoyed by anyone, even those who don't like to cook. Please check it out of you get a chance! I doubt you'll be disappointed!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Family Gathering

We were able to spend the day after the wedding visiting at the Snyder's with some other out of town relatives. It was great to see everyone again. We hadn't seen some family since before we moved to CA nearly 4 years ago!

Ned,Paul, Marcia (whom we see quite often in Temecula, CA), Scott, and Davina
Ned, Kevin, Carol, and Grandpa
It was definitely nice to have a day to relax a bit before heading home. We were able to spend most of the day sitting outside since the weather was just perfect. We actually remembered that Michigan IS a beautiful state! We just tend to only visit at the not so beautiful times.
Anyway, our travels are over until July 29 when we head to Hawaii for a "real" vacation. Can't wait!

The Snyder/Wolfe Wedding

The main reason for our trip was for Noel's sister, Heidi's, wedding. Noel did the message, a prayer, and the benediction for the ceremony as well as played a couple of pieces on the piano. He nearly stole the show! I played organ and piano for the rest. I was glad we were in town early enough to be a part of Heidi's bachelorette party. Emily planned most of it and I think it was fun for all. We all went out for dinner, all the girls (minus Emily and me) did a scavenger hunt around town, and then we hung out back at the Snyder's house, ate dips, and played games.
Enjoying dinner together.
The beautiful bride!
This dress was quite complicated! It took Mom and Emily quite a while to lace up the back. It was very beautiful and elegant.
The bridesmaids.
Heidi putting on the final touches.
Noel and I after the ceremony.

The Snyder kids...the family is now complete (except future children, of course)!

We are so excited to have Brian in the family. Heidi and Brian are a perfect match and have so much fun together. We look forward to getting to know them more as a couple in the future. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe! And thanks for giving up your name, Heidi! For the first time, I am the only Heidi Snyder in the family.

Grand Rapids

After our quick stop in Colorado, we headed to Michigan for a variety of things. We spent a couple of days in Grand Rapids and accomplished lots while we were there! We had a family picture (which was a gift to mom for Mother's Day in 2008, but we are just getting around to it), celebrated Father's Day, Dad's birthday, and Mom's retirement! We were also able to spend a little time with a couple of friends. There are always too many people to see and too little time to see them all!

Hanging out after the family picture before dinner and the celebration. We enjoyed some delicious champagne for all the things we were celebrating. Thanks, Dad!
I made a flourless chocolate cake for dessert (thanks to one of my cooking classes) that ended up being the birthday cake. Isn't Dad young?????
Josh and Kevin checking out Dad's new drill.
Noel was able to spend a morning visiting with Ryan at the Real Food Cafe in Alger Heights. He also got to stop by the Cox's house to see Ruby and Amber. I'm so sad to have missed them (I was visiting with a different friend), but our time was just so limited. Isn't Ruby the cutest?
Our time in GR was packed, but was fun. We saw a ton of people in a few short days and had beautiful weather the whole time.


Noel and I have been incredibly busy lately! Lots of travel, time with friends, time with family, a WEDDING, and tons of stuff going on in our community in Pasadena.
Our travel to Michigan started with a 3 day stay in Colorado. We had a mini college reunion with 5 couples, the guys being the common bond (they all lived on 3rd floor Durfee at Hope). Luke's parents have a cabin in Buena Vista, which we were all able to stay at. It was beautiful and so much fun!
Matt, Luke, Bryant, Noel and Joel

The whole gang (minus the kids): Bryant, Becky, Matt, Eli, Luke, Lindsay, Sarah, Joel, me, Noel

The majority of the gang hiked on Friday. I chose to stay back with Becky and sip a latte instead.

The hiking gang: Luke, Lindsay, Joel, Bryant, Noel, Matt, Emma, Eli, and Leah

Luke and Noel, chilling in the morning...sipping coffee and eating some delicious breakfast
Before heading up to Buena Vista, Noel and I spent the afternoon in Boulder, visiting Becky and Bryant. It was so fun to see where they've been living for the past few years!

Becky picked us up from the airport and we packed a picnic lunch, which we ate at this beautiful park. Even Zoe joined us! She is the most well-trained dog I've ever met. Nice job, Bryant!

It was our first time ever being in Colorado, and we were definitely impressed. It's so beautiful and we had such a relaxing time enjoying the views and visiting with friends. We're so glad we were able to spend a few days there at the start of our "vacation".